Join us in welcoming Tonya Johnson as an Official member of Car Chix. Tonya Johnson placed in the top 12 of the 2018 Women of Motorsports Contest (Read: Car Chix Celebrates Another Successful Women of Motorsports Contest), earning her spot as Ms. September in the Advanced Craftsmanship sponsored month of the 2019 Car Chix Calendar.
TONYA JOHNSON BIO
YOUR VEHICLES (in photo): I currently race a 1986 Foxbody Mustang powered by a 427 small block Windsor, transferring power to the wheels through a powerglide, putting the power to the pavement through a Ford 9 inch.
MOTOR/SPECS: 427 small block Windsor
RACING CLASS/TEAM/DIVISION: Comp Class Bracket & Index Racing. Team Car Chix
HOMETOWN: Farmington, MO
HOMETRACK: Bonne Terre Dragstrip
PERSONAL WEBSITE/FANPAGE: Autos 4 Autism FB Page/ #talktotonya
CLUBS/AFFILIATIONS/SPONSORS:Bonne Terre Drag Strip / Car Chix / US3S/Visions of Hope
Founded and implemented Autos 4 Autism event fundraiser, raised over $12k in 2016, over $15k in 2017 and over $24k in 2018 to assist with startup funding and operational costs for Visions of Hope’s first training platform at Dress 2 Impress Resale Boutique.
- Racing my foxbody TRULY SOLO this year for the first season & learning the ends and outs of my “Betsy” by doing so. I have grown immensely this year with my car and stepped up my game to become the blood, sweat, and TEARS of my foxbody.
- Doubled the amount raised in Autos 4 Autism fundraiser this year. ☺
- Racing my son’s Grand Prix @ the Car Chix competition in Wisconsin this year since I was unable to bring my true race car. I had a blast networking and meeting fellow Car Chix.
- Won 6th in the Women of Motorsports Calendar Competition.
FAVORITE QUOTE/SAYING: “It’s better to be hated for what you are, than to be loved for what you are not.”
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH AUTOMOBILES/MOTORSPORTS:
From a very young age I collected Hot Wheels – they all had a name, all had their assigned spot in my car cases that I toted everywhere with me! My very first car was a mustang and I was IN LOVE!! Shortly after getting my car I was in a life changing accident, was told I would never walk again. After a year of physical, occupational, and speech therapy and relearning so many life functions, I had defied the odds. I knew God had bigger plans for me than what the doctor’s predicted! At the end of my recovery, I met my husband, Keith, who was also a car enthusiast and cars always surrounded us. I loved all of the activities involved with car meets/outings/shows and I was often the “behind the scenes, in the shadows” supportive cheerleader for 17 years. In 2009, my world was once again unexpectedly altered when Keith lost his 18 month cancer battle. Life never looks the same when you lose a significant other, but I was even MORE determined to LIVE LIFE to the FULLEST for me and our sons. I was inspired to not wait for life just to be over and then realize that I never truly lived; hence, my quest began for my very own race car!! Once again, God’s plans are ALWAYS bigger and better than what we can imagine for ourselves! ☺
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH AUTOMOBILES/MOTORSPORTS:
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT AUTOMOBILES/MOTORSPORTS:
The adrenaline rush – going from 0 – 100 mph in a matter of seconds is definitely a PRICELESS feeling! When the tree lights up I am in a different world, an escape from reality. My focus is where I want my car to end at, no thinking about the dangers – only forward thinking, focusing on the OUTCOME!! More important than the immediate gratification is the extended family that the car world has
surrounded me with. The friendships built over the years and the continued new ones, as well, never cease to amaze me. This year racing solo reinforced, even more, what I already knew…. “car people” are some of the most passionate people I have ever met!
WHAT IS YOUR BEST CAR/RACING/MOTORSPORTS RELATED MEMORY:
Continually impacting lives and growing the Autos 4 Autism fundraiser & raising $ for the non-profit organization Visions of Hope.
WHAT IS YOUR WORST CAR/RACING/MOTORSPORTS RELATED MEMORY:
My life altering accident that happened right after high school.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR NEXT SEASON: Continuous Improvement — Increase reaction time consistency & have my car ready to consistently race round after round!!
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FOR REACHING YOUR GOALS:
Time management. I often don’t get to practice as much as I need to stay consistent when working a full-time job & raising a family.
ANY BIG MODS OR BUILDS GOING ON DURING THE OFF SEASON:
Motor improvements…. shhhh…. I can’t let the cat out of the bag!!!
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER HOBBIES OR PASSIONS:
Family, Friends, Church, helping people recover from substance abuse & on the Board of Directors (Vice President) for Visions of Hope non-profit organization.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP SONGS FOR WHEN YOU ARE DOING CARS THINGS / RACING:
I like fast, hard music when working in the garage or driving fast. TOOL & Nine Inch Nails are two of my top favorites.
IF YOU GOT A MILLION DOLLARS TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT?
Help as many people as I can while building my own 1/8th mile track!! 🙂
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE BLOGS, WEBSITES OR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES THAT YOU FOLLOW? Car Chix / One Fit Widow / Trent Shelton
ADVICE TO OTHER WOMEN IN MOTORSPORTS OR WOMEN INTERESTED IN GETTING INVOLVED IN MOTORSPORTS:
You will never sense fulfillment in life unless you reach the goal of being YOURSELF. Do not be in competition with others; just concentrate on fulfilling YOUR potential!! Allow yourself the grace to grow and evolve through your own personal journey. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to ENJOY your life. As I’ve grown as a racer, as a mom, and more importantly as a person, my views on so many things have evolved as I’ve been faced with new challenges, new oppositions, and new lessons. As long as we continue to learn we never stop becoming a better version of ourselves!
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH THE CAR CHIX COMMUNITY:
It has truly been an honor to mix passion for multiple loves in my life (people & cars!) and I will, once again, be partnering my calendar win to help promote Visions of Hope (http://www.visionsofhoperesale.com/) and look forward to sharing so much of my journey with each and every one of you!! A HUGE THANK YOU again to ALL of you for making this possible!! 😉 SAVE THE DATE …. 04/20/2019 – 4th Annual Autos 4 Autism…
– – –
PHOTO CREDITS FOR SUBMITTED PHOTOS: Mike Kelm, Kelm Motorsports